Global Builders – Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is a small island (slightly larger than West Virginia) located south of India in the Indian Ocean. Well built, clean housing is rare and very expensive in Sri Lanka. Therefore, families collect whatever they can to create a shelter. Many families live in slums or wooden shacks. Those who have land often cannot afford to build a house on the land or obtain a loan due to high interest rates. Often the land is worthless and cannot be sold. Families who rent are required to pay a majority of their income for rent with very little left for other basic needs. We are addressing these needs by partnering with the United Christian Fellowship to help families build or improve their homes using no-profit, no-interest loans.
Our work includes renovations, half-built houses, roof repairs, room additions and full house constructions. As of June 2017, over 140 families have moved into new homes or had their homes substantially improved through partnership with the Fuller Center, but there is much left to do. Our work is based in Moratuwa, but projects have extended throughout the island as urgent needs have been addressed. The project stems from our Christian faith and partners with any family in need, regardless of ethnic group or religion. The project’s leader Rev. Ranjan Fernando says, “It is our duty to explain that Jesus loves everybody and has special concern for those in need and to show our love and compassion to these needy families.”
Getting involved – There are several ways that you can get involved: donate to support this specific partner, volunteer on one of our Sri Lankan Global Builders teams, which you can learn more about below, or join a trip as a virtual volunteer, choosing to donate your travel costs instead of making the trip. We make virtual volunteering fun — see virtual volunteering explained here.
- Home sponsorship cost: $2,800
- Home improvement average cost: $1,500
Click on the leader’s name to learn more about the leader and trip details. Click “Join” to apply for their trip. Have a spot reserved on a “Full” trip? Complete your registration here.
Sri Lanka is a nation that has been ravaged by a brutal civil war that started in the 1980s. The ethnic conflict not only destroyed homes and displaced residents, but stalled economic growth. The war came to an end in May 2009 but in addition to the civil war, the country was also hit by a tsunami in 2004 and massive flooding in 2012. To make things worse, Christians and other religions that were not historically found in Sri Lanka face significant persecution from local Buddhists.
Each trip to Sri Lanka will be with a group of mission-minded volunteers – typically 8-20 total – who want to experience the world, meet new people, and make a difference. No skills required. Trips last 1-2 weeks and include sightseeing in this beautiful exotic island.
Learn the Basics – Area Info
Sinhala (Official), Tamil (National), English (Non-official)
0-14 years 24.35%, 15-24 years 14.7%, 25-54 41.71%, 55+ 19.24%
22,235,000 (2016 est.)
|Life Expectancy:||76.8 years (Male 73.3, Female 80.4)|
Averages: High 80s to 90s, Lows 70s to 80s Rainy Season: May-August
Sri Lankan Rupee (Rs): $1 USD = Rs. 153
92.6% (Male 93.6%, Female 91.7%)
Sinhalese 74.9%, Sri Lankan Tamil 11.2%, Sri Lankan Moors 9.2%, Indian Tamil 4.2%, Other 0.5%
Buddhist 70.2%, Hindu 12.6%, Muslim 9.7%, Christian 7.4%, Other 0.1%
More Info – Learn more about what a trip is like
- 8:00 a.m. – Breakfast
- 9:00 a.m. – Begin building at work-site
- 12:00 p.m. – Lunch
- 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. – Continue building
- 4:00 p.m. – Evening free for dinner and relaxation (Exact schedules can be discussed and set depending on the team’s preferences and length of stay.)
Type of work
We are building with bricks or concrete blocks and stuccoing a portion of the completed homes. Most of our projects are small in scope – building a single room addition or one-room basic home for a family, replacing a roof, helping a family have a solid door, etc. Work will typically involve helping the masons and carpenters. At times there will be painting, and any other work related to a particular build. We will provide necessary tools, but as with most build sites, it never hurts to bring a few small hand tools with you.
Volunteers will stay in double or triple rooms in Hotel Haus Chandra, which is within easy walking distance of the Golden Mile Beach of Moutn Lavinia, where volunteers will enjoy delicious meals and beautiful sunsets. The hotel has electricity, running water, clean bathroom facilities, air conditioning, wi-fi, and a business center. Toiletries, bedding, towels, and blankets are provided. Best of all, Hotel Haus Chandra has a website here.
A small bus will be rented to transport the group throughout each day. The distance from the hotel to each work-site will vary, but on average it is about 20 minutes.
Rest, Relaxation, and Sightseeing
Sri Lanka is a beautiful country with much to do. We expect each group to spend at least a couple of days seeing the sites – or more if the group desires. You can go to the beach, visit a Buddhist temple, see the elephant orphanage – or ride one, take in the views from the mountain top, or – as a different way to change things up – spend a day feeding the hungry.
As trips with openings become available, we will post them at the top of this page. To apply to join their trip, simply click “Join” next to the trip of your choice. To request more information or be put in touch with the team leader, click the “Request more information” button at the top. If you’re an experienced traveler or team leader, or if you have a group of your own (church, school, etc.), Propose a Trip to let us know what you might like to do!
Are you unsure of how to prepare for such an experience or just looking for some tips on how to be better prepared? If so, we suggest you take a look at our Trip Preparation page where you will find a lot of helpful information and links – Preparing For Your Trip!
Note that US citizens must obtain a visa for travel to Sri Lanka. Visit travisa.com for information on required documents and talk with the Global Builders Coordinator or your Team Leader if you have questions.
Pricing – What’s Included
|Trip Length:||7-14 days (price varies depending on length)|
|Materials Provided:||-In-depth Guidebook outlining what to expect -Pre-trip safety training -Fundraising guide -Option to create online fundraising page -T-shirt and hat|
|Trip Support:||Yes – from trip leader and Global Builders staff|
|Clean Drinking Water:||Yes|
|Food:||Yes – 3 meals a day are provided|
|Transportation:||Yes – to and from the airport and work-site|
|Lodging Accommodations:||Yes – Haus Chandra Hotel|
|Meaningful Work:||Yes – led and coordinated by dedicated Sri Lankans|
|Travel Medical Insurance:||Yes|
|R&R Opportunities:||We’ll assist you in setting up sightseeing and cultural opportunities|
What happens after the trip?